RFDS em­ploys new model

Pilbara News - - News - Claire Tyrrell

The Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice has up­ended its op­er­at­ing model so cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­ual do­na­tions no longer bankroll day-to-day op­er­a­tions and are in­stead used for big-ticket items.

The change, com­bined with a com­mer­cial ap­proach to op­er­a­tions, has al­lowed the RFDS to buy four Pi­la­tus PC-24 planes at $12.4 mil­lion each, a $5 mil­lion hangar and an op­er­at­ing fa­cil­ity in Broome.

It was a model em­ployed by fi­nance ex­ec­u­tive-turned-WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Gra­hame Mar­shall, who stepped into the po­si­tion six years ago af­ter sev­eral years in se­nior man­age­ment in the cor­po­rate sec­tor.

The for­mer West­pac and Ter­ri­tory In­sur­ance Of­fice boss came to the job with a clear pur­pose — to sell the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s brand.

“The brief when I was re­cruited was quite clear: ‘we have a great brand and legacy, we’ve been around for al­most 80 years, but the en­vi­ron­ment is chang­ing, the com­pet­i­tive na­ture of the mar­ket is chang­ing’,” he said.

“It is not enough just to be a non-for-profit any­more and hope peo­ple will sup­port us.”

He said there was more of a fo­cus now on pro­vid­ing mea­sur­able out­comes to po­ten­tial donors, which re­quired a com­mer­cial mind­set.

“Cor­po­rates are still want­ing to in­vest in worth­while causes but have less dol­lars to do that so are in­vest­ing in the ones we think make a real dif­fer­ence and can prove their ef­fi­cien­cies,” he said.

“That’s why we are fo­cus­ing in the last five years on our com­mer­cial fo­cus so we can sit down with cor­po­rates and say ‘here’s ex­actly where the money goes and here’s our cost to de­liver those ser­vices’.”

Most of the RFDS’ $90 mil­lion bud­get comes from Govern­ment con­tracts, with about $9 mil­lion by fundrais­ing.

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

RFDS boss Gra­hame Mar­shall with one of his or­gan­i­sa­tion’s planes.

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